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Dog attacks on the increase in East Lancashire
THE number of people hospitalised for dog attacks in East Lancashire increased slightly last year.
Figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that 62 people in the region needed to be admitted as an inpatient to hospital after being bitten by a dog.
This had increased from 60 admissions the year before.
The report also showed that one in six hospital admissions for dog bites in England were in the North West, and that East Lancashire Hospital Trust was ranked 27 out of 150 English hospital trusts for number of hospitalisations.
Postman Rick Boardman, who lives in Darwen, was also bitten by a dog. He said more should be done to prevent dog attacks, particularly during summer months.
He said: “In summer people leave their gates and their doors open and dogs come running out.”
Mark Townsend, who lives in Burnley, was hospitalised after receiving injuries to his hand when he was bitten by a dog. He said: “I always think more should be done because dog bites can be dangerous.
“And we should always be looking to protect people who are just going about their daily business, as I was when I was bitten.
“I’m a dog owner, and I know you should always have your dog under control. We should be doing more to educate the public to keep dogs under control. We could also offer dog training classes.
“We should be encouraging people to take responsibility and coming down hard on people who are not responsible.”
But Candy Smith, from Burnley, whose younger brother was hospitalised after being attacked by their family dog, has warned that owners are not always to blame, particularly if they have taken in a rescue dog.
She said: “It was our dog that attacked my brother and it was a pure accident.
“He was messing with her toy playing peekaboo and she simply went for the toy and bit his nose.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said the government is taking action to tackle the problem.
He said: “I think it’s a real problem in our area. I know of three different people who have received hospital treatment for dog bites in the past year.
“A range of measures are needed – we need to look at better education, we need to look at community based local projects, I know some housing associations are offering free microchipping.
“The government needs to bring forward measures.”
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